21. Cranichis Swartz, Prodr. 8, 120. 1788.
Helmet orchid [Greek kranos, helmet, for helmetlike appearance of lip]
James D. Ackerman
Herbs terrestrial, sympodial. Roots several, fasciculate, thick, villous. Stems simple, rhizomatous. Leaves 1–many, often forming basal rosette; blade petiolate, not articulate, thin. Inflorescences terminal, several- to many-flowered racemes, erect; scape with a few sheathing bracts. Flowers not resupinate; sepals and petals spreading, distinct, thin; lip concave, fleshy; column cylindric, short; anther erect, abaxial; pollinia 4, clavate, mealy, breaking apart in chunks, not powdery, attached to caudicle; stigma entire; rostellum apical, viscidium terminal; ovary pedicellate. Fruits capsules, erect.
Species 60 (1 in the flora): subtropical and tropical regions, North America, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America.